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29.07.2001 Feature Article

NDC - "No Cover Up" From NPP

NDC  -
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A quote from an article, “NDC blames NPP over IMF sanctions” dated July 17th. 2001 states for the record: “The NPP government precipitated admission of a country “lie”, boxed Ghana into a corner and made any such negotiation impossible” NDC cannot tell straight lies. All the help the PNDC/NDC governments sought from the World Bank / IMF under various programes failed to improve Ghana’s welfare because NDC could not comprehend the transition process into the market economy, or maybe the NDC had been lying all along to the World Bank/IMF. For goodness sake DO NOT teach the NPP about admission of a country “lie” lesson. NPP will not “cover up” for NDC’s deceptions. Let us remember that it was the NDC who first applied for the eligibility listing of the Structural Adjustment Facility (SAF) in 1986, but with all the help from the World Bank/IMF could not get Ghana out of the economic quagmire. And then the NDC signed up for the Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility (ESAF) and still could not make use of the opportunity to get Ghana out of poverty and high indebtedness. Then on November 22, 1999 the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) Programme replaced the ESAF. Later, in June of 2000, the NDC government submitted the Interim Poverty Reduction Plan, a prerequisite to the HIPC Initiative. Now the history is very clear that PNDC/NDC forced its way into power with no clue or plan to build Ghana into a prosperous country. NDC blames NPP over IMF sanctions. What a joke! If in fact the IMF is cheating Ghana, then it is incumbent upon NDC to submit proper documentation in their procession through the NPP Government to the World Bank/IMF. This is a duty of a good citizenry and the “right thing”. Here are sections of the Press Release of the IMF in Washington DC, June 28, 2000 by IMF Executive Board Reviews Noncomplying PRGF Disbursement to Ghana “The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) reviewed a noncomplying disbursement to Ghana of SDR 26.75 million (about US$34 million) under its three-year Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) arrangement. Subsequent to the disbursement in August 2000, it became apparent that the information available to the Fund at the time of approval of the disbursement was incorrect. This information related to a prior action on clearance of external payments arrears and to a performance criterion on nonconcessional external borrowing. As a result of these inaccuracies in the information, the disbursement is deemed to be noncomplying. The Executive Board decision is in the context of the strengthened safeguards adopted in April 2000 on the use of IMF financial resources. The Board also approved an increase of SDR 36.9 million (about US$46 million) in the amount available to Ghana under the arrangement. As a result, Ghana will be able to draw up to SDR 52.58 million (about US$66 million) from the arrangement immediately.

Following the Executive Board's discussion on Ghana, the Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chairman, Eduardo Aninat, stated: "The reporting of inaccurate information took place under the previous government. The new government has been very forthcoming and cooperative throughout the enquiries into these problems and has taken steps to prevent future occurrences, including stricter procedures for authorizing external borrowing and enhanced monitoring of external debt payments. The Executive Board welcomes the new government's commitment to transparency and to strengthening the debt management system, for which it has requested Fund technical assistance. The Board concluded that waivers of nonobservance of the prior action and performance criterion could not be granted, and Ghana was asked to repay the noncomplying disbursement, together with any interest accrued thereon. It was agreed that Ghana could repay the Fund in two tranches of SDR 13.75 million by July 15, 2001, and SDR 13 million by end-December 2001." Does NDC dispute the World Bank/IMF’s characterization of the disbursement as incorrect? If so, the NDC should come forward with proof and let the NPP government take the evidence to the World Bank. After all, Ghana’s Finance Minister sits on the Board of IMF. Is it not the responsibility and obligation of an outgoing administration to leave smooth transitional papers behind? The NDC Ministers did not forget to claim their pensions and took their assigned vehicles along when they left office. Let Ghana understand that the twenty years of abused and misused opportunity in our history will not be repeated or forgotten. What in heaven’s name are these remnants of PNDC talking about? Do they expect a creditable government to “cover up” their deceptions? World Bank/IMF is not an institution of dummies but a very highly accredited institution. That is why the NDC government went to the World Bank/IMF to seek help in the first place, In a civil society when there is a changeover of the leadership, all pertinent information and assets are transferred to the new leadership. Excuse me! The NDC would not know that because their cousin PNDC never experienced that kind of transition. They took power by the guns. Therefore NDC (“turncoat” of PNDC) did not inherit the civility to know the civilized way to hand over an administration. The World Bank/IMF saved PNDC/NDC’s “hide and skin” from poor monetary and fiscal mismanagement several times. Therefore, NDC should praise the World Bank/IMF and not defame them. Now then, when are “the graduates” of PNDC going to grow up and accept their faults and transgressions and let the country move forward? For twenty precious years (half of Ghana’s existence as a nation) PNDC imposed their will on Ghana under the pretense that PNDC knew what it took to improve Ghana’s welfare. But PNDC left Ghana a destitute and chaotic country. Afterwards NDC (turncoat of PNDC) took over and degraded our social and economic fiber leaving behind a dysfunctional health system, a disorganized educational system and devalued currency. ENOUGH ENUMERATION!! There are some people who had no prior assets before coming into political power that are now supposedly the elite in our society. How is it that some impoverished bunch of people who took the power of the government by force ended up rich but left Ghana impoverished and in high indebtedness? (The reverse of Robin Hood). Let us hope that the new social elite who emerged above the NDC economic ruins of Ghana has paid their Ghana Income Tax in full and up to date.

Frank Q. Antwi-Barfi
Frank Q. Antwi-Barfi, © 2001

The author has 9 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: FrankQAntwiBarfi

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